Bar­ratt seeks to build on July trad­ing op­ti­mism

De­vel­oper has a strong or­der book and an­a­lysts be­lieve that de­mand has picked up since lock­down

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - louis ash­worth

To­day

Eco­nomics

Bank hol­i­day (UK), of­fi­cial PMIs (China), GDP fi­nal read­ing (Italy), in­fla­tion (Ger­many, Italy, Spain)

To­mor­row

In­terim re­sults

Old Mu­tual

Eco­nomics

Fi­nal man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI (UK, Ja­pan, eu­ro­zone, Ger­many, France, Spain, Italy, US), man­u­fac­tur­ing PMI (China), mort­gage ap­provals and lend­ing (UK), in­fla­tion (eu­ro­zone)

Wed­nes­day

Bar­ratt De­vel­op­ments cheered in­vestors with its July up­date, af­ter say­ing it still had “cau­tious op­ti­mism” about its trad­ing out­look. Its full-year re­sults should bring fur­ther de­tails on the house­builder’s progress, with any move­ment on com­ple­tions and profit likely to at­tract close at­ten­tion. Bar­ratt’s profit mar­gins are cur­rently a lit­tle weaker than peers, and are likely to take a hit due to in­creased safety costs and in­fla­tion in some ma­te­ri­als prices. The FTSE 100 firm has al­ready said that com­ple­tions dropped by about 30pc from a year ear­lier, with sell­ing prices also tak­ing a slight knock. But its or­der book has looked strong, and there are plenty of rea­sons to be­lieve de­mand has picked up strongly since lock­down. With that in mind, in­vestors will be look­ing for an up­date on the group’s in­terim div­i­dend, which it scrapped in March amid cost-sav­ing ef­forts. Bosses vowed to re­con­sider the pay­ment’s sta­tus when full-year re­sults are re­leased, and an­a­lysts now ex­pect a re­duced div­i­dend to re­turn.

Also re­port­ing is The Gym Group, which has un­der­stand­ably had a less-than-ideal per­for­mance since lock­down struck. Its 175 sites across the UK have all re­opened, but it has put new safety mea­sures in place that have re­duced ca­pac­ity. In­vestors will be check­ing for guid­ance, and any word on sign-up ac­tiv­ity.

In­terim re­sults

Ed­die Sto­bart, The Gym Group Full-year

Bar­ratt De­vel­op­ments

Eco­nomics

BoE’s Bai­ley, Rams­den and Vlieghe at

Trea­sury select com­mit­tee (UK), ADP em­ploy­ment change, fac­tory or­ders (US)

Thurs­day

Bat­tered by dis­rup­tion to the global avi­a­tion and au­to­mo­tive in­dus­tries, Mel­rose has found it­self in a tough spot of late and has been one of the FTSE 100’s worst share-price per­form­ers. The en­gi­neer­ing firm has al­ready warned of a heavy rev­enue hit, and cau­tioned that it will only break even. As with so many oth­ers, the fo­cus now is on the fu­ture, with UBS an­a­lysts say­ing they ex­pect Thurs­day’s first-half re­sults to in­clude an up­date on cash burn and the im­pact of its re­struc­tur­ing process. In­vestors will also be keep­ing an eye out for a com­men­tary Mel­rose can of­fer on forth­com­ing or­ders.

Also re­port­ing on Thurs­day will be The Restau­rant Group, owner of Waga­mama. De­spite the Asian cui­sine chain be­ing a poster child for Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, The Restau­rant Group has al­ready suf­fered a heavy hit from lock­down and has an­nounced the clo­sure of 125 restau­rants, pri­mar­ily from its Frankie & Benny chains. The FTSE 250 busi­ness has looked par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble due to its fo­cus on open­ings in re­tail desti­na­tions. With many city and town cen­tres still far qui­eter then usual, it has suf­fered a sharp drop in vis­i­tor num­bers. Still, ex­per­i­men­tal data sug­gests that the Trea­sury’s dining scheme – which is avail­able for the last time to­day – has been in­cred­i­bly pop­u­lar with the pub­lic, driv­ing diner num­bers sharply higher year on year. That might have given the firm the boost it needed over the past few weeks, but with so much doubt still lin­ger­ing over the road ahead it will take some strong fig­ures to get in­vestors warmed up.

In­terim re­sults

Mel­rose, The Restau­rant Group Eco­nomics

Fi­nal ser­vices PMI (UK, eu­ro­zone, Ger­many, France, Spain, Italy, US), job­less claims, trade bal­ance (US)

Fri­day

Eco­nomics

SMMT car reg­is­tra­tions, con­struc­tion PMI (UK), non-man­u­fac­tur­ing or­ders (Ger­many), non-farm pay­rolls, un­em­ploy­ment, av­er­age earn­ings (US)

David Thomas, CEO of Bar­ratt De­vel­op­ments: de­liv­er­ing full-year re­sults this week

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